Baseball History for June 23rd

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1850 George Bird

A centerfielder with Rockford in the National Association in 1871 – and not necessarily a good one.  MLB Profiles says he was the last living player of that first “major league” season, living to the ripe old age of 90.

1861 Henry Jackson

Horace Fogel gave him a shot at first base with Indianapolis in 1887 and it didn’t work out.

1875 Jerry Nops

His 20th victory as a rookie for the Orioles in 1897 came at the expense of Louisville, who had given the start to their own newcomer, Rube Waddell.

Nops had a nice, if brief, career.  After a tryout with Philadelphia, he was moved to Baltimore.  When Baltimore was removed from the NL, he followed his teammates to Brooklyn for a year then signed with Baltimore in the AL in 1901.  After that, he pitch from time to time in the minors or semi-pro leagues.  When not playing ball he was a bar owner or bartender…

1877 Jack Hardy

Backup catcher for three teams between 1903 and 1910 – was tolerably successful in the minors, but never could hit with the MLB teams.

1884 Dick Egan

Longtime infielder with the Reds, Bridegrooms, and Braves.  Nearly made it to 1000 games – but his bat left him as he got to 30 years old…

1890 Bill Calhoun

Played three games at first base for Boston (NL), getting one hit in his thirteen at bats.

1890 Harry Williams

Omaha native who played some first base with the Highlanders from 1913 to 1914.

1891 Al Clauss

Pitched in five games for the Tigers in 1913 – lost one decision.

1891 Johnny Priest

Highlander infielder who got in 10 games from 1911 to 1912.

1894 George Weiss

Yale alum who was a baseball man for life and, because he ran the Yankees during the Stengel era, is also a member of the Hall of Fame.

Daniel Levitt wrote his SABR Bio.

1895 Jack Smith

Longtime Cardinals and later Boston Braves outfielder – had a .287 career batting average in more than 1400 games, but in truth he wasn’t that good a hitter.  No power but very quick kid…

1900 Bill Harris

Won more than 250 games in the minors, but 24 games in the majors – though his MLB career spanned 18 years.

Bill Nowlin wrote his SABR Bio.

1902 Leon Pettit

Minor league veteran who got two chances to pitch in the majors in his 30s – 1935 with Washington and 1938 with the Phillies.

His baseball register starts in 1928, but he had to be doing something else for years before that.

1906 Ray Foley

His first game was on Independence Day as a pinch hitter… Went 1/2 in his two games in 1928.

1907 Dusty Cooke

Outfielder for the Yankees and Red Sox in the 1930s.  Hit .305 as a near regular in 1935, but most of the time he was a fourth outfielder.

1910 Bill Perrin

Lefty from New Orleans who made one start for Cleveland in 1934 and got slaughtered.  The rest of the time he was a pretty successful pitcher in the minors – mostly around New Orleans.

1912 Gene Ford

University of Iowa grad who pitched in five games in the late 1930s with Boston and the White Sox.  There isn’t a huge paper trail here – might be worth a research project, too.

1913 Bill Cox

Pitcher of the 1930s, mostly in the American Association – but got to the majors with the Cards, White Sox, and Browns.

1915 Johnny Humphries

Indians and White Sox pitcher who played during the war years, went to UNC, and died one day after turning 50.

Might be worth a research project…

1915 Aaron Robinson

Mark Stewart tells the story of the Yankee catcher who trained Yogi Berra.

1916 Ken Jungels

For five of six seasons, Jungels got brief tryouts with the Indians and Pirates.  It never worked out.  Instead, he spent many seasons working the high minors – except for his tour during the war…

1917 Bubba Floyd

Longtime minor leaguer who got three games with the Tigers in 1944.  Batted .444 with a double and a walk.

1917 Jack Sanford

Not the guy who won the ROY in 1957 – this was the Virginia native and Richmond Spider who briefly played first base for the Senators in 1940 and 1941 – went off to the war – and came back for ten games in 1946.  Spent the next decade in the minors – PCL, Southern Association and Carolina League…

1920 Deacon Donahue

Briefly a reliever for the Phillies during the war…  Looks like he got the call to battle in 1944 and never made it back to baseball.

1924 Harry Schaeffer

Five games with the Yankees in 1952, spent time in the AA and PCL before going back to college and becoming a high school teacher and coach.

1931 Karl Spooner

One of my first biographies on this site – a Dodger lefty who blew out his shoulder because of a knee injury – could have been a frightening third starter next to Koufax and Drysdale.

1933 Dave Bristol

Minor league infielder who spent forever as a coach and manager.  Trivia answer to the question, “Who was the manager Ted Turner took over for in 1977?”

1937 Tom Haller

University of Illinois grad who was a fine, tough, and likeable catcher for the Giants and Dodgers for more than a decade.  Spent time as a coach – passed away in 2004 of the West Nile Virus…

Alan Cohen penned the bio of this three time allstar and tough guy for SABR.

1949 Dave Goltz

Minnesota native, went to Minnesota State, then was drafted by the Twins.  Won 20 games in 1977, 113 – 109 in his 12 years career.

Lee Temanson wrote his bio for SABR.

1956 Tony Johnson

Got two cups of coffee – one each with both Canadian teams (go figure).

1958 Marty Barrett

Arizona State guy – pretty good second baseman with Boston for a good chunk of the 1980s until he suffered a knee injury in 1989.  He blew out his knee a second time while with the Padres in 1991.

1960 John Rabb

Catcher, spent most of his career in the high minors, but gut a few years with San Francisco, Atlanta, and Seattle in the 1980s.

1960 Jim Deshaies

Cubs color commentator on TV, which absolutely confuses me as you’d have to think that there are hundreds of interesting former Cubs who could handle the job.  Saying that, he’s growing on me – smart, clever, and occasionally insightful.

Had a pretty good run with the Astros in the 1980s – they got him when the Yankees asked for Joe Niekro in 1985.

Anyway, his arm went lame as he approached his free agent years and suddenly became a traveler, playing for five different teams in the next four seasons.

1962 Chris Beasley

Arizona State guy – taken by the White Sox in the sixth round in 1982 but passed, the 27th round by the Angels in 1983 (passed on that, too) and by Cleveland in the 9th round in 1984.

Oddly, it was with the Angels that he finally got his call for action in 1991.  He wasn’t half bad (0 – 1, 3.38) but he didn’t have much of a strikeout pitch and after a slow start in 1992 he was done.

1965 Mike Walker

You may not remember Mike Walker or are confusing him with somebody named Mike Walker…  He spent three weeks with the Mariners in 1992.

This Mike Walker was a 2nd round pick of the Pirates in 1986 out of the University of Houston…

1967 Hensley Meulens

Bam Bam – a Dutch power hitting corner infielder who spent a few years with the Yankees, a few years in Japan, and now is a hitting instructor with the Giants.  He was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands – which means, he’s actually Sir Bam Bam…

1970 Juan Castillo

This is the Venezuelan pitcher who got a week with the Mets in 1994 (two starts).  He was more effective as a hitter (1/5) than as a pitcher.

1974 Mark Hendrickson

6′ 9″ Washington State grad who was a starter and swingman for about a decade – I remember his season in Florida where he’d be good for about four innings and then get lit up like a Christmas tree…  Finished 58 – 74 with a 5.03 ERA in a career that spanned five teams.

1982 Matt Daley

Bucknell grad, spent a lot of time in the Rockies chain before he finally got the call in 2009.  Also pitched in the Yankees chain where he called it a career after the 2014 season.

OBITUARIES:

1894 Jimmy Say
1898 William Rexter
1902 John Firth
1908 Bill Traffley
1911 John O’Rourke
1921 Charlie Hall
1924 Shorty Gallagher
1928 Malachi Kittridge
1931 Clarence Cross
1941 Bill Nelson
1949 John Godar
1954 Red Massey
1958 George Boehler
1967 Tookie Gilbert
1967 Al Bashang
1970 Ross Reynolds
1972 Tom Long
1973 Cliff Aberson
1974 Al Boucher
1975 Marty Callaghan
1976 Lon Warneke
1985 Alf Anderson
1989 Rick Anderson
1994 Joe Dobson
1994 Marv Throneberry

I still don’t know why they asked me to do this commercial.

1999 Bert Haas
2000 Bob Tillman
2003 Bob Smith
2006 Leo Wells
2007 Rod Beck

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!

1915 Bruno Haas sets a major league record by walking 16 batters in a nine inning game.  This was the second game of a doubleheader – Connie Mack was giving Haas a tryout – it was his first major league game.  A few weeks and five outings later, he was sent back to the hinter leagues having walked nearly a third (28 of 85) of the batters he faced.

1917 Babe Ruth walks the leadoff hitter, gets angry and gets ejected.  Ernie Shore comes in, picks off the base runner, then retires the next 26 batters to complete a no-hitter.

1930 Hack Wilson goes 5 – 6 with 5 RBI while hitting for the cycle.  The Cubs hang 21 runs on the Phillies.

1963 Jimmy Piersall celebrates his 100th homer, hit off of Dallas Green, by turning around and running the bases backwards (but in the correct order…).  That didn’t sit well with Casey Stengel – I think he got released that week.

1971 Rick Wise has the greatest game a pitcher could have, no?  Two homers AND a no-hitter???  The Reds lose, 4 – 0.  Dave Concepcion drew the lone walk – just three batters struck out.

1984 A game I remember distinctly!!!  Ryne Sandberg homers off of Bruce Sutter in the ninth and tenth inning as the Cubs come back to top the Cardinals.  This put Sandberg on the MVP map… (He went 5 for 6 with seven RBI.)  Lost in the excitement?  Willie McGee hits for the cycle and drives in six runs.

Want more memories of that game?  Read Scott Ferkovich’s recap for SABR.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1890 Boston signs outfielder Paul Hines.

1891 Washington signs Buck Freeman.  It was a brief visit – he’d spend most of that decade in the Eastern League before returning to Washington in 1898.  Freeman was a LEGIT power hitter in his day.

1953 Milwaukee signs bonus baby Joey Jay.

1958 Cincinnati sends Steve Bilko and Johnny Klippsteain and two players to be named later (Art Fowler and Charlie Rabe) to the Dodgers for Don Newcombe.

1970 Houston trades Mike Marshall to the Expos for Don Bosch.  People didn’t know how good Marshall was about to become…

1976 Mike Marshall is back on the move – leaving the Dodgers and heading to Atlanta for Lee Lacy and Elias Sosa.

 

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